Writing Opinion Texts: Analyzing a Model | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G4:M3:U3:L5

Writing Opinion Texts: Analyzing a Model

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • W.4.1: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
  • W.4.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • W.4.5: With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
  • L.4.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • L.4.1e: Form and use prepositional phrases.

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can use the Painted Essay structure to analyze a model. (W.4.1, W.4.4, W.4.5)

Ongoing Assessment

  • The Painted Essay(r) template (W.4.1, W.4.4, W.4.5)
  • Language Dive Note-catcher I: Violence Is Not the Answer! (L.4.1e)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Reader: Reading Aloud and Determining the Gist (15 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Target (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Analyzing a Model (20 minutes)

B. Language Dive I: Violence Is Not the Answer! (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Choose and respond to an opinion QuickWrite prompt in your Unit 3 homework.

B. Complete the Language Dive I Practice: Violence Is Not the Answer! in your homework resources.

C. Accountable Research Reading. Select a prompt and respond in the front of your independent reading journal.

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In this lesson, students analyze a model broadside using the Painted Essay(r) structure to generate criteria for their own broadsides (W.4.1, W.4.5).
  • The Painted Essay(r) (Diana Leddy, Vermont Writing Collaborative) guides students to code each section of their essay a different color to understand each part, the content of each part, and how the different parts connect.
  • In Work Time A of this lesson, students participate in a Language Dive that guides them through the meaning of a sentence from "Violence Is Not the Answer!" The focus of this Language Dive is on understanding and using prepositional phrases (L.4.1e). Students then apply their understanding of the meaning and structure of this sentence when writing their own focus statements and as they revise their writing in future lessons by adding linking words and prepositional phrases. See the Tools page for additional information regarding a consistent Language Dive routine.
  • In Closing and Assessment A, students are introduced to the Opinion Writing Checklist. Recall that throughout the school year, students are provided with checklists for their writing, which outline the key criteria that the CCSS require of the writing type. These checklists are closely aligned with the teacher rubrics used to grade student assessments. An empty column is provided on each student checklist for students to add criteria for the specific characteristics required by the writing prompt, and time, directions, and examples for this process are built into the relevant lessons.
  • In this lesson, students continue to focus on working to become effective learners by persevering through reading and analyzing a new opinion text.

How it builds on previous work:

  • Students have worked with the Painted Essay structure in Modules 1-2. In this unit, they use the same structure but analyze how it changes slightly for opinion writing.
  • Students read the Model Broadside: Quaker Perspective as part of the Mid-Unit 3 Assessment taken in Lesson 4. In this lesson, they analyze it as a model for their own writing.
  • Continue to use Goals 1-4 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • Students may require additional support when reading for gist. Consider pairing students heterogeneously for this activity or consider grouping students who may need additional reading support together while you read aloud for them.

Assessment guidance:

  • Frequently review student work during Work Time A to ensure that they are color-coding accurately. Use common issues as whole group teaching points.

Down the road:

  • In the next lesson, students will plan their broadsides. They will use their plan to draft and revise their broadsides in Lessons 7-11.

In Advance

  • Review the Painting an Essay Plan from Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 9 to familiarize yourself with the color-coding and the purpose of each color.
  • Review Questions We Can Ask during a Language Dive anchor chart (from Unit 1, Lesson 5).
  • Preview the Language Dive Guide and consider how to invite conversation among students to address the questions and goals suggested under each sentence strip chunk (see supporting Materials). Select from the questions and goals provided to best meet your students' needs.
  • Post: Learning targets and applicable anchor charts (see Materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

  • Continue to use the technology tools recommended throughout Modules 1-2 to create anchor charts to share with families, to record students as they participate in discussions and protocols to review with students later and to share with families, and for students to listen to and annotate text, record ideas on note-catchers, and word-process writing.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 4.I.A.4, 4.I.C.12, 4.II.A.1, 4.II.A.2, and 4.II.C.6

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to unpack an example of the work they complete during the remainder of the unit. The familiarity of the Painted Essay(r) structure, used in Modules 1-2, allows students to focus on the language and content in their broadsides rather than on a new writing structure. Students are also empowered to use a color-coding system to help them navigate the broadside structure using visual prompts.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to follow the layout of the introduction paragraph, as it may deviate from the structure of other introductions, e.g., those in grade 3 Painted Essay(r) models (e.g., the Reading Contract, Poison-Dart Frog and Book Review models), which included reasons. Additionally, they may find the language in the conclusion paragraph abstract. Remind students that the goal is to determine the gist of each paragraph today and assure them that they will focus on each paragraph in greater depth in future lessons.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Challenge students to use varying linking words and phrases to expand their sentences during Work Time A, including more than one piece of evidence to explain how they determined the gist. (Example: "I know this because ____. Additionally, ___.")

For heavier support:

  • Consider enlarging the Model Broadside: Quaker Perspective and color-coding each part, corresponding with the colors that students will later use to paint each component of the essay: red, yellow, blue, and green. Display the enlarged model broadside next to the Characteristics of Broadsides anchor chart during Work Time A and keep it posted throughout the unit. As students annotate their model broadsides, do the same to the enlarged model broadside, providing students with a concrete example of a broadside to reference.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): In this lesson, students get multiple representation cues with the color-coding provided by the Painted Essay(r) template. Some may need additional support comprehending the Model Broadside: Quaker Perspective. Consider color-coding each part of the Model Broadside: Quaker Perspective as it is displayed for the class. Use the colors that students will later use to paint each component of the broadside: red, yellow, blue, and green.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): Continue to provide prompts and sentence frames for those students who require them to be successful in peer interactions and collaboration.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): Similar to Lesson 3, students have opportunities to share ideas and thinking with classmates in this lesson. Continue to support students' engagement and self-regulatory skills during these activities by modeling and providing sentence frames as necessary.

Vocabulary

Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T); Vocabulary Used in Writing (W)

  • Painted Essay, structure, analyze (L)

Materials

  • Performance Task anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 1)
  • Directions for Broadside (one per student and one to display)
  • Model Broadside: Quaker Perspective (one per student and one to display)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Model Broadside: Quaker Perspective (example, for teacher reference)
  • Colored pencils (red, yellow, blue, green; one of each per student)
  • The Painted Essay(r) template (completed in Module 1; one per student)
  • Painting an Essay Plan (from Module 1, Unit 2, Lesson 9; for teacher reference)
  • Language Dive Guide I: Violence Is Not the Answer! (for teacher reference)
    • Questions We Can Ask during a Language Dive anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 5)
    • Language Dive Chunk Chart I: Violence Is Not the Answer! (for teacher reference; see supporting Materials)
    • Language Dive Sentence Strip Chunks I: Violence Is Not the Answer! (one to display; see supporting Materials)
    • Language Dive Note-catcher I: Violence Is Not the Answer! (one per student and one to display; see supporting Materials)
  • Opinion Writing Checklist (one per student and one to display)

Assessment

Each unit in the 3-5 Language Arts Curriculum has two standards-based assessments built in, one mid-unit assessment and one end of unit assessment.

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader: Reading Aloud and Determining the Gist (15 minutes)

  • Move students into pre-determined pairs and invite them to label themselves A and B.
  • Draw students' attention to the Performance Task anchor chart and read the prompt aloud. Remind them that they are working toward a text-based discussion sharing their opinion of the American Revolution.
  • Tell students that before they can do this, they need to think about two perspectives of colonists during this time, as this will help them consider their own opinion.
  • Distribute and display the Directions for Broadside and read it aloud.
  • Turn and Talk:

"What will you be working on throughout the second half of this unit?" (writing a broadside sharing the Patriot opinion of the American Revolution)

  • Answer clarifying questions.
  • Think-Pair-Share:

"What can we use to guide our writing? Why?" (a model; a model can help us to understand what information to include and give us a structure to follow)

  • Remind students that adults at work often use models to guide them in creating work products.
  • Distribute and display the Model Broadside: Quaker Perspective. Tell students that this model is familiar to them because it is the text they read for the mid-unit assessment in the previous lesson.
  • Invite students to follow along, reading silently in their heads as you read the model aloud.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What is this text about?" (It explains why Quakers should stay out of the war.)

"Does the author of this text support the American Revolution?" (No.)

"Why does he/she not support the revolution?" (It goes against Quaker beliefs.)

"What beliefs does it go against?" (nonviolence and treating everyone equally)

  • Consider showing students additional examples of broadsides. Emphasize that although a lot of people wrote broadsides and had opinions about the American Revolution, some didn't know how to write successful broadsides. For example, they didn't use evidence to support their claims, which makes it difficult to trust the broadside. Just saying you like something or you don't like it isn't very useful. People who read broadsides want evidence about why you like or don't like it.
  • Emphasize that the broadsides they write, like the model, will be grounded in evidence so people will be more likely to trust them.
  • For students who may need additional support with comprehension: Read the Model Broadside: Quaker Perspective aloud twice, each time framing and contextualizing the document, to provide additional opportunities to process and comprehend the language within. If necessary, pause to check for comprehension after each paragraph. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: (Reinforcing Concepts) Reinforce the concept of opinion by inviting students to define it in their own words. Invite them to express an opinion of something familiar before looking at broadsides.
  • For ELLs: (Activating Prior Knowledge) Before distributing the Directions for Broadside, activate students' prior knowledge of broadsides by referring to the Characteristics of Broadsides anchor chart created in Lesson 3, as well as one or two examples of broadsides from the Poster Walk. Invite students to share a characteristic of most of the broadsides they have seen so far, as well as an opinion expressed in one of them.

B. Reviewing Learning Target (5 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning target and select a volunteer to read it aloud:

"I can use the Painted Essay structure to analyze a model."

  • Underline the words Painted Essay and remind students that they used this in Module 1 when writing their poet biographies and in Module 2 when writing their informational pieces about animal defense mechanisms.
  • Review the meaning of the words structure (how something is organized, arranged, or put together; if students are unsure, invite a student to look it up in the dictionary for the group), and analyze (examine in detail).
  • Focus students on the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart, specifically persevere. Tell students that because they will read and analyze a new opinion piece, they will need to persevere.
  • For students who may need additional support with comprehension and engagement: Invite students to share one way that they worked toward this learning target in previous lessons. (MMR, MME)
  • For ELLs: (Displaying a Model) Display the Painted Essay template introduced in Module 1, connecting the meaning of the word structure to a structure that students are familiar with and will be using as the basis of their writing. Invite students to share one way in which they analyzed the Painted Essay structure in the previous modules, using their Vocabulary words in context. (Example: "I analyzed the Painted Essay structure by ____ [looking closely at each paragraph to determine its purpose].)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Analyzing a Model (20 minutes)

  • Refocus students on the Model Broadside: Quaker Perspective.
  • Invite them to chorally read the first paragraph with you.
  • Turn and Talk:

"What is the gist of this paragraph?" (brief background on the American Revolution; clearly states the focus statement with reasons)

  • Cold call students to share the gist whole group and record it next to the first paragraph on the displayed model. Refer to Model Broadside: Quaker Perspective (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Invite students to work in pairs to do this for each of the remaining paragraphs.
  • After 10 minutes, refocus whole group and use total participation techniques to select students to share the gist of each paragraph with the whole group. Refer to the Model Broadside: Quaker Perspective (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Distribute colored pencils.
  • Guide students through color-coding their Model Broadside: Quaker Perspective using their Painted Essay(r) template. Refer to Painting an Essay Plan for further detail.
  • Refocus whole group. Focus students on the first paragraph of the Model Broadside: Quaker Perspective. Point out that this focus statement is different from those they saw in the informational writing they did in Modules 1-2. This focus statement simply answers the focus question by stating an opinion and does not include the two yellow and blue points. Tell students that this is because in opinion writing, the author builds the argument as he or she writes. Reassure students that they will have more opportunities to understand and practice this as they plan and draft their writing.
  • For students who may need additional support with organizing their thinking for verbal expression: Scaffold partner conversations as needed with explicit prompting or sentence frames. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: (Modeling and Thinking Aloud: Determining Gist) Consider modeling and thinking aloud determining the gist of the first paragraph before asking students to do so in pairs.
  • For ELLs: (Enlarged Model Broadside: Annotating) As students share the gist of each paragraph, record it in the margins of the enlarged model broadside (see "for heavier support") using the color corresponding to each part.

B. Language Dive I: Violence Is Not the Answer! (15 minutes)

  • Tell students they will now participate in a Language Dive using the same format from Unit 1, Lesson 5.
  • Focus students' attention on the Questions We Can Ask during a Language Dive anchor chart and remind them that they thought of their own questions to ask during a Language Dive.
  • Reread the first paragraph of Violence Is Not the Answer!
  • Focus on the sentences: "However, taking a side, either side, goes against our beliefs as Quakers. It is important to stay uninvolved."
  • Use the Language Dive Guide I: Violence Is Not the Answer! and Language Dive Chunk Chart I: Violence Is Not the Answer! to guide students through a Language Dive of the sentence. Distribute and display the Language Dive Note-catcher I: Violence Is Not the Answer! and Language Dive Sentence Strip Chunks I: Violence Is Not the Answer!

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

  • Distribute and display the Opinion Writing Checklist. Remind students of the Informative and Narrative Writing Checklists they have used so far this school year. Tell students that in this unit, they will use a new checklist because they will be working on a new type of writing. Ensure students understand that they will use this checklist each time they write an opinion piece because these are the things every good piece of opinion writing should contain.
  • Invite students to read the checklist silently to themselves.
  • Using a total participant technique, invite responses from the group:

"What do you notice about this checklist? What do you wonder?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Ask, and then give students a few minutes to reread the model broadside. Then, use a total participation technique to invite responses from the group:

"What characteristics on this checklist do you see done well in the model? What evidence from the model supports your thinking?" (Responses will vary, but may include: The writer's opinion is clearly stated.)

  • If productive, cue students to agree or disagree and explain why:

"Do you agree or disagree with what your classmate said? Why? I'll give you time to think and write." (Responses will vary.)

  • Reassure students that they might not understand everything on this checklist right now, but they will learn more about it as they plan and write their broadsides.
  • Use a checking for understanding technique (e.g., Red Light, Green Light or Thumb-O-Meter) for students to self-assess against the learning target.
  • As time permits, focus students on the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart and invite them to self-assess how well they persevered in this lesson.
  • When using a total participation technique, minimize discomfort or perceived threats and distractions by alerting individual students that you are going to call on them next. (MME)
  • For ELLs: (Concrete, Corresponding Examples) Include an example for each criterion on the Opinion Writing Checklist, providing students with concrete, corresponding examples to refer to. (Example: I use linking words to connect my opinion and reasons. Linking words = and, also, because, in addition to, for instance ...)

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Choose and respond to an opinion QuickWrite prompt in your Unit 3 homework.
  • Complete Language Dive I Practice: Violence Is Not the Answer! in your homework resources.
  • Accountable Research Reading. Select a prompt and respond in the front of your independent reading journal.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing: (Oral Response) Students may benefit from discussing and responding to their prompt orally, either with a partner or family member or by recording their response. (MMAE)

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